The Atlanta Falcons have elicited mixed emotions with their relatively splash-free free agency period. They've focused on accumulating what Dan Quinn affectionately refers to as "competitive depth."
Because the draft is still more than a month away, it's hard to really assess the Falcons' off-season. That caveat in mind, it's fair to wonder whether the Falcons have overpaid in free agency. And if this article by Football Outsiders is any indication, the answer to that question is an emphatic "no."
Football Outsiders does a free agency cost-benefit analysis using a fancy formula that, in short, compares past value, present value, and cost. According to their formula, the Falcons have received good value in free agency. In fact, from a total value standpoint, they've had the fifth-best free agency period in the league. New England leads the pack and Jacksonville ranked 32nd.
So how do they rank the individual signings? Well, if you give the above-linked article a read, you'll see they that some signings - the most recent ones - aren't included. But here's how they broke down the initial wave:
- Phillip Adams was the fourth-best corner back signing
- Justin Durant was the seventh-worst linebacker signing
- O'Brien Schofield was basically middle-of-the pack; in other words, the Falcons paid just about what they should've paid
- Brooks Reed was the third-best linebacker signing
- Adrian Clayborn was the best defensive line signing
- Leonard Hankerson was the best wide receiver signing
- Mike Person was the second-worst OL signing
Before you go freaking out about the invalidity of these rankings, please take careful note of what they are: value-based. This isn't about who landed the best player at a given position. It's about who got the best value for their money.
It's still entirely fair to criticize the Falcons' free agency. They overlooked good players in an attempt to bolster a depleted depth chart. But as savvy approaches to free agency go, the Falcons might've done far worse.